Obama's smoke screen

By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  February 13, 2014

Jerry, 53, is a kidney-pancreas transplant patient with coronary artery disease and diabetic retinopathy. For months while incarcerated he’s been suffering from hemorrhaging in both of his eyes.

The Obama Administration has refused Jerry’s Compassionate Release Request. It will cost taxpayers over $1 million to keep him incarcerated, due to his medical condition.

During the State of the Union address, to resounding applause, President Obama said: “I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

He has the power to “take steps without legislation” to release sick and dying marijuana prisoners like Duval, who were following state law. He has the power to legalize marijuana.

And yet, he doesn’t.

And so, in response to your question: yes, what Obama said to Remnick sounded good. He talks a good game. But Obama’s game stinks—his actions let non-violent people who use marijuana medicinally or recreationally sit in prison.

Obama’s a fan of talking about “real” American “folks.” Jerry Duval is a real American. And a prison hospital is where Obama’s actions — or lack thereof — have left him.

Got a burning question? Email theduchess@valerievandepanne.com or tweet it @asktheduchess.

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